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Maiden, Warrior, Mother, Crone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
She is still out there, you know. Don't claim that you haven't been warned.

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Submitted: September 09, 2019

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Submitted: September 09, 2019

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Maiden, Warrior, Mother, Crone

 

Four in one, one of four; that’s what you’ll find in the Morrigan. Just like the year is split in to four seasons, so she is split to fulfil all four roles.

The seasons, though, are somewhat more predictable.

As a maiden she is carefree. Her hair streams out behind her, as she dances and prances her way across fields or streets. When she has the space, she might well fling out her arms, tilt her head up to the sky. Much as she prefers the open countryside, she will be found as often on the city streets.

Look carefully now. Can you see how her feet barely touch the ground? If you should catch sight of her shadow, you may well be able to make out her wings. They won’t appear to anyone that looks directly at her, not unless they know who she is. For those in the know, her feathers will ruffle in the wind, . Some people are more perceptive than others, more open to seeing things not logical or obvious; to these, her wings might shimmer but the question will remain... Were they really there?

Her murder of crows will be flying free, sweeping and soaring their way through the skies. They will have dispersed, to give each other the freedom to spread their wings wide and do their own thing. They’ll come together in a noisy group, perform an aerobatic display of dance and song, before separating once again.

The crows will become warriors, too. Never doubt that their army is a formidable foe. They are not afraid to die, as they dive in with beak and claw, their wings beating strongly and their voices raised in defiance. It only takes a couple of minutes for the crows to coalesce.

As warrior, the Morrigan will fight by her own rules. These are not the rules of men, but of corvidae. She is not afraid of death either, for it will not be the end of her. Carrion fodder, man might be, but she, if slain, will form again. Just as a phoenix will rise from the ashes, so will the crow in her human form.

Did you hear the tale of Alderswell? How the men invaded, how they raped and pillaged, how they burned, maimed and killed? Milia, in her sixteenth summer, had hidden, shaking and scared, and she had called out silently, with her whole heart, for the Morrigan.

And she was answered. While Milia stayed safely hidden away, the crows had swooped in forming heavy black clouds all the way across the horizon. The only sound was the beating of their wings. The invaders were suddenly plunged in to a darkness for which they were not prepared. They might have crossed themselves, prayed to their own god for mercy, but it would do no more than dead men walking.

The Morrigan stood before their chief, suddenly, as though she had been formed by the crows themselves. She had stared into his soul with her eyes of black. She had spread her arms, fully feathered now, and with a swift movement, had cut his throat from ear to ear. As he fell to the ground, the corvidae in their masses dived, cawing and crying, the men screamed and batted the air helplessly. They begged and pleaded for mercy, just as their victims had done to them; and just like they had blocked their ears, their pleas remained unheard.

The ground was soon littered with the dead and the dying, the air vibrated with their moans and their agony... until the victorious feasting and scraps of shredded material. Weapons were left wherever they had fallen, discarded as useless.

There was then a need for the Morrigan to take on another role; that of mother. Milia had watched so much slaughter, meted out by the hands of the invaders. She had witnessed her father’s decapitation, had seen her mother speared when she had tried to protect her youngest daughter from the hands of the men driven insane by lust and savagery.

And she had seen her sister, just twelve summers old, be used and abused over and over until lifeless she was tossed aside like a piece of bloodied rag.

Milia was alone, orphaned and homeless, and needed comforting. The Morrigan approached her, wrapped her up in her black-feathered arms and held her until the tears finally made their way out. She held her until the sobs ceased, and the girl finally fell in to an exhausted slumber.

They travelled by foot to another village that took the girl in, swore to protect her and treat her as though she were one of their own. The crows kept their distance, holding council for they knew full well what was to come. One of their own would remain with Milia, to ensure the girl’s safety. Should any threat rear its ugly head, the crow would call, and the corvidae army, together with the Morrigan, would return, more than ready to go in to battle.

Before taking her leave, the Morrigan assumed her role as crone. Her appearance now aged by the wisdom of her history, she would search the heart of the girl, and assess what could be done to aid its healing. Together with the crows, she would gather and collect, from nature’s own stores. ould offer some ease for a heart so savagely torn apart. Only when her task was fulfilled did the Morrigan take her leave, together with all but one of the corvidae.

And so they departed. As she walked away, the Morrigan had shed the age of the crone, as she flings out her arms to let the feathers fly in the wind and to fall. The lightness begins to return to her steps as, once more, she becomes a maiden.

She is out there, the Morrigan, ready to answer the call of one who believes. Scoff all you will, but be warned. Do not become her foe, for the crows are everywhere and her presence is but a moment away. She will appear in which ever form she needs to take.

Maiden, warrior, mother or crone!


© Copyright 2019 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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